How does this project fit with the strategy?


Project owner: Michael E Burns 

Team members: Susan M Quaglino Nuria E Ayala



Problem space

Why are we doing this?

Problem statement

We want to make our members and the general public aware of our products and events. (This poster does not address using Salesforce directly to conduct events. Does Cvent already serve those needs well enough that we can exclude them here?)

Impact of this problem

Members get tangible benefits from CII membership when their employees become aware of opportunities to download CII findings and attend CII events, and those downloads and events make the employees better implementers of CII Best Practices.

How do we judge success?

We need to support member access to CII products. (The diversity of delivery methods often circumvent simple efforts to track behavior; for example, simple download counts may not tell us much.) For events, we need to at least break even and preferably make enough additional money to carry forward to enhance future events.

What are possible solutions?

We will certainly use e-mail marketing to reach our audience, since we already have e-mail addresses for most members and any non-members who already have a relationship with us (e.g., past membership, participation in an event, some CII product purchase). We could explore advertising, but within our budgetary constraints. We want to be smart about getting the most out of the resources we already have, such as Salesforce.


What do we already know?

The information we carry forward from our iMIS database has fairly detailed contact information and some marketing-channel information for most CII member employees, as well as many others who have a past relationship with CII (e.g., past member companies, former member employees, non-member customers of products and events). The sector interests of most members have been identified. Our events already get some coverage in industry publications (such as ENR) that reach well beyond CII membership, but we have seldom run ads, so we may need more expertise before we attempt advertising.

What do we need to answer?

Is not knowing about CII products and events the main reason more people are not buying CII products or attending CII events, or are we going to alienate people if we simply contact them more frequently?

We have never established useful channels within our data, so we have found it difficult to isolate the right people to receive targeted messages. How can we structure our new database to make it smarter about reaching the right people?

How could we empower our members and other users to opt in and out of our messages, and do so to remove CII staff from the process?

Ready to make it

What are we doing?

We have had success with informative mail messages that summarize recent CII research publications. We have also had some positive responses when event messages emphasize presenters and research findings (but ending the early-bird registration deadline is still the biggest motivator). The 2018 Annual Conference successfully hired a graphic designer to establish a professional style, and then followed that look and feel in subsequent event messaging and materials.

Why will a customer want this?

The bottom-line value and safety improvements delivered by CII research findings have been established by benchmarking efforts. The networking and professional development benefits of CII events are similarly well established. We have good products to sell, but we need to get smarter about how we communicate them to our membership and the rest of our industry.

Visualize the solution

Hopefully we can establish something akin to Salesforce's sophisticated system of automatically triggered e-mails and automated messaging campaigns, event if we do not have the budget to use their solutions. 

Scale and scope

We already have the people and processes for professional messaging and events management. We need to step up our technology to deliver the current functionality that customers expect.

Task List

  • Michael E Burns  Complete project poster for Events and Marketing

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